Chemists develop a new type of one-molecule thick water-repellent film

Nanowerk  September 9, 2020 An international team of researchers (Russia, Belarus) developed 0.8-1.5 nm thick calixarene-based films that can work as water-repellent coatings. Calixarenes are large bowl-shaped organic molecules that consist of several rings. The outer ring of the bowl is hydrophilic, and the innermost ring is hydrophobic. Their durability can be increased with UV radiation. The films can be used to create protective hydrophobic or anti-corrosion coatings for organic electronics or to develop molecular filters…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

New material can generate hydrogen from salt and polluted water

EurekAlert  July 21, 2020 Researchers in Czech Republic developed a three-layer structure with a lower layer made of a thin film of gold, the second one made of 10-nanometer platinum, and the third a film of metal-organic frameworks of chromium compounds and organic molecules. The total thickness is 1-micrometer. The material was watered and sealed in a container. Infrared light caused the excitation of plasmon resonance on the sample surface. Hot electrons generated on the gold film were transferred to the platinum layer. They initiated the reduction of protons at the interface with the organic layer. Periodic gas samples were […]

Harvesting hydrogen from nanogardens

Nanowerk  July 3, 2020 By manipulating (electro)chemical gradients using a combined hydrothermal and electrodeposition strategy, an international team of researchers (China, the Netherlands) has shown the controlled growth of Co(OH)2 nanostructures, mimicking the process of garden cultivation. The resulting “nano-garden” can selectively contain different patterns, all of which can be fully phosphidated into CoP without losing the structural integrity. Under pH-universal conditions, the CoP “soil + flower-with-stem” structure shows a much more “effective” surface area for gas-evolving reactions with lower activation and concentration overpotentials. This provides superior bifunctional catalytic activity for both reactions, outperforming noble metal counterparts…read more. Open Access […]

Fifty perfect photons for ‘quantum supremacy’  June 23, 2020 About 50 quantum building blocks are needed to solve problems whether they are in the form of photons or qubits. Photons can operate at room temperatures and they are more stable. But they must be perfect to get to the critical number of 50. An international team of researchers (the Netherlands, Germany) found that by playing with the crystal structure of the light source and dividing them into domains, it was possible to produce light with the desired properties. Varying the domains, however, is required for better tailoring of the light properties…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

New system uses wind turbines to defend the national grid from power cuts

EurekAlert  June 19, 2020 Frequency control to raise frequency nadir and eliminate frequency second dip is highly desirable for power grids with high penetration of wind energy. In order to achieve similar frequency support performance and ensure stability of wind turbine systems (WTSs) under varying wind speeds, different levels of wind power penetration and system conditions, researchers in the UK propose a fast frequency support scheme, an adaptive gain which is a function of real-time rotor speed and wind power penetration level. Rotor speeds of WTSs are proposed not to be recovered to the optimal operating points during the primary […]

Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way  May 29, 2020 An international team of researchers (USA – UC San Diego, UT Austin, Johns Hopkins University, France, Romania, Germany) aimed a high-power laser at a target to generate a magnetic field as strong as that of a neutron star. This field generates gamma ray emissions that collide to produce, for the very briefest instant, pairs of matter and antimatter particles. The current method used only light to produce matter. This method closely mimics conditions during the first minutes of the universe, offering an improved model for researchers looking to learn more about this critical time period. The […]

UCF researchers develop groundbreaking new rocket-propulsion system

EurekAlert  April 30, 2020 A team of researchers in the US (University of Central Florida. industry, Air Force Research Laboratory) presents experimental evidence of continuous detonation in a rotating detonation rocket engine (RDRE) powered by H2/O2 propellants. High-speed chemiluminescence imaging is used to characterize the detonation wave dynamics by introducing a tracer in the hydrogen fuel flow. The results show continuous five-wave co-rotating detonations at various equivalence ratios and flow rates demonstrating the potential for H2/O2 propellant based RDREs for upper-stage rocket engines…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Aquaculture at the crossroads of global warming and antimicrobial resistance

Science Daily  April 20, 2020 Fish farmers use large quantities of antimicrobials to treat or prevent disease on their farms. However, when used inappropriately, antimicrobials are ineffective and foster the development of resistant bacteria. An international team of researchers (France, Germany) conducted a double meta-analysis to explore how global warming and antimicrobial resistance impact aquaculture. They calculated a Multi-Antibiotic Resistance index (MAR) of aquaculture-related bacteria for 40 countries. They showed that aquaculture MAR indices correlate with MAR indices from human clinical bacteria, temperature and countries’ climate vulnerability and infected aquatic animals present higher mortalities at warmer temperatures. They raise the […]

Flight of the GermFalcon: How a Potential Coronavirus-Killing Airplane Sterilizer Was Born

IEEE Spectrum  March 9, 2020 Many of the chemicals used in hospitals are not approved for use on an aircraft. And some of the ones that are, aren’t nearly as effective or practical as assumed. A company in the US is building a machine called GermFalcon that uses ultraviolet light to wipe out coronavirus and other germs inside an airplane. The key design constraints for bringing UV-C sterilization into air travel were geometry, time, and power. They used retired airplanes to get the necessary measurements. GermFalcon has not been tested on any airlines so far…read more.

Super lightweight foam uses sunlight to harvest water from evaporation

Nanowerk  March 10, 2020 Researchers in Italy have developed a hydrophilic and self-floating photothermal foam that can generate potable water from seawater and atmospheric moisture via solar-driven evaporation at its interface. Specifically, the foam shows an excellent solar-evaporation rate of 1.89 kg m–2 h–1 with a solar-to-vapor conversion efficiency of 92.7% under 1-Sun illumination. The collected water is suitable for potable use. The foam can be repeatedly used in multiple hydration–dehydration cycles, consisting of moisture absorption or water collection, followed by solar-driven evaporation; in each cycle, 1 g of the foam can harvest 250–1770 mg of water. The lightweight and […]